At least two knowledgeable ruling politicians and a few senior Pakistani officials are crediting intense background efforts of spiritual leader of the Ismaili community, Prince Karim Aga Khan, for diplomatic breakthrough between Islamabad and New Delhi that in the past few days again ignited hope of a durable peace.Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee surprised the world in the past two weeks when he suddenly reversed the belligerent Indian stance of equating Pakistan with Saddam Hussain's Iraq by offering 'decisive' peace talks and restoration of full diplomatic relations with Pakistan.
The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) has announced a substantial investment to initiate tourism, commercial and urban redevelopment in Afghanistan.The fund will establish a world-class hotel in the center of the country?s capital Kabul, Prince Amyn Aga Khan, the younger brother of His Highness the Aga Khan, has said.
The government led by Prime Minister Zafarullah Khan Jamali has undertaken a record privatisation of Rs4 billion in its initial months which is unprecedented as compared to any previous track record , said Privatisation Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.Talking to reporters informally after inaugurating the 8th National Exhibition of Visual Arts, the minister said that Rs4 billion privatisation includes that of Rs 3bn through stock exchange divestment and Rs1 billion through direct sale of ICP Mutual Fund. The minister assured that the pace of privatization would be accelerated in due course.
Prince Karim Aga Khan on Tuesday said the West needs to improve its understanding of Islam and also recognise the issues that are agitating the mind of the Muslim Ummah. Prince Karim Aga Khan, who is on a visit to Pakistan, said this while talking to a group of editors.Aga Khan deliberated upon the various facets of US' understanding of Islam and lamented the bias against Islam in the West. Commenting on the post-Sept 11 developments, he emphasised the need for a better understanding of Islam and the issues perturbing the Muslim mind around the world by the West.
The Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED) will pay Rs 11 billion, or 52% of the bid price, soon after Eid-ul-Azha as the first instalment to acquire management control of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) while the rest of the amount will be paid within the next two years, a senior official of the Privatisation Commission said here Tuesday.After the first instalment, the remaining amount of Rs 11.409 billion, or 51.85 percent, will be paid by the AKFED in two years along with a certain amount of mutually agreed mark-up, he added.
President General Pervez Musharraf said Friday that Pakistan stands for peaceful settlement of all issues with India including the core Kashmir dispute, is ready to enter into a dialogue and desires sincerity in this commitment.
'We seek peaceful resolution of all disputes and differences especially the core dispute over Jammu and Kashmir - we desire sincerity in this commitment - we on our part will demonstrate all our seriousness,' he stated at a banquet the President hosted in honour of Prince Karim Aga Khan, the spiritual head of Ismaili community.
Islamabad ready for talks with Delhi at any time, anywhere; seeks ties of trust with Afghanistan; Aga Khan lauds Pak economic achievementsPresident General Pervez Musharraf said
Friday that Pakistan stands for peaceful settlement of all issues with India including the core issue of Kashmir. He said Islamabad is ready to enter into a dialogue with New Delhi and desires sincerity in this commitment.
President Pervez Musharraf today inaugurated The First MicroFinanceBank Ltd. in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan, Imam of the Ismaili Muslims and Chairman of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development.
The Bank, the country?s first private financial institution dedicated to addressing the problems of endemic poverty, starts out with a capital of Rs.500 million contributed by the Aga Khan Rural Support Programme and the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development
Tawana Pakistan Programme is successfully working in about 650 schools to improve educational as well as nutritional status of girls in poverty-ridden areas.The project aims at providing about 0.5 million girls access to education in about 5,300 primary schools in poverty-ridden districts, an official of the education ministry said.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Wednesday signed a $4.5 million cooperative agreement with Aga Khan University (AKU).The agreement will help AKU establish an alternative examination board in the private sector for secondary and higher secondary education.
The signing ceremony at AKU was attended by Federal Minister for Education, Zobaida Jalal, US Ambassador to Pakistan, Nancy Powell USAID Country Director, Mark Ward, Chairman, AKU Board of Trustees, Ambassador Saidullah Khan Dehlavi and AKU President, Shamsh Kassim- Lakha.
Ishrat Hussain, Pakistan's central bank governor, expects to see a significant shift in the pattern of banking across the country after the successful privatisation of Habib Bank, one of Pakistan's three largest public sector banks.The sale of 51 per cent of Habib Bank's stock to AKFED (Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development) for $400 million in Pakistan's largest bank privatisation ever has set the pace for policy makers such as Hussain to claim that banking has returned to the private sector.
The Aga Khan University (AKU) and USAID on Wednesday signed an agreement for a grant of $4.5 million to AKU for establishing the country's first private examination board.The agreement signed by President AKU Shamsh Kassim-Lakha and US Ambassador Nancy Powell on behalf of AKU and USAID respectively was also attended by Federal Education Minister Zubaida Jalal and Sindh Education Minister Irfanullah Marwat, held at Aga Khan University and others.
While, Dr Thomas Christie, former dean, Faculty of Education, University of Manchester was appointed as the first Director of AKU-EB.
Your ExcellencyPrime Minister Shaukat Aziz
Your Excellency Governor Ishrat-ul-Ebad Honourable
Chief Minister Arbab Ghulam Rahim
Chairman Dehlavi and the Members of the Board of Trustees
Graduates and Parents
Generous donors and well wishers of the University,
from Pakistan and around the world
Benazir Bhutto, the Pakistan People?s Party chairperson, has said that Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan will be mourned not only by his family, friends and the Ismaili community but also by ?the larger world where he was well known and respected?.In her condolence letter to the late prince?s widow, Ms Bhutto wrote: ?So many will mourn the passing of a sensitive man of enormous intelligence, understanding and compassion. I will mourn him for all those reasons. I will mourn him too as a good friend of my family over many decades.?
Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Northern Areas Makhdoom Syed Faisal Saleh Hayat called on spiritual leader of Ismaili community Prince Karim Aga Khan at Serena Hotel, here on Tuesday.
Faisal thanked Prince Karim Aga Khan for paying visit to Azad Kashmir to express solidarity with the earthquake victims.
The minister also thanked the prince for extending assistance for the quake victims.
Faisal Saleh Hayat lauded the development and welfare activities of Aga Khan Foundation in Northern Areas.
Nestled amid the towering Himalaya, Hindukush and Karakoram ranges, communities in Pakistan?s Northern Areas have undergone a silent socio-economic upheaval in the past 20 years.
With $100 million, a development network headed by Prince Aga Khan, spiritual head of the Ismaelite sect, overhauled the region from a network of sleepy, marginalized communities in 1982 to a vibrant region boasting schools, healthcare, hydro-electric power schemes and even a micro-finance bank. The Northern Areas is home to 1.2 million people spread across 1,123 villages.
Spiritual leader of the Ismailis Prince Karim Aga Khan arrived here on Sunday evening on a short visit. Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar and other government officials received the Aga Khan at the airport. During his visit the Aga Khan will meet Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, Senate Chairman Muhammadmian Soomro and other federal ministers.
The buyers of Habib Bank Ltd have decided to retain its senior officials including President Zakir Mahmood. They will take over the bank management after paying for 26 per cent of the bank shares in the middle of next month.HBL sources told Dawn the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development Fund (AKFED) that bought 51 per cent HBL shares last month had asked Mr Mahmood to continue as its president with his present team. They said the Fund had apprised the State Bank of its decision to retain Mr Mahmood, and the central bank had approved it.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has announced an initial contribution of Rs30 million in support of the earthquake relief being provided by the government which will be matched by Habib Bank Limited with a further Rs30 million donation towards the President?s Emergency Relief Fund.
A press release issued on Monday also said that AKDN helicopters have been put at the disposal of the authorities to assist in humanitarian efforts.
CWS AID: The Church World Service-Pakistan/Afghanistan has chalked out a plan for rehabilitation of earthquake victims.
Presiding over the 18th Convocation of Aga Khan University, the Chancellor of the University, His Highness the Aga Khan announced the retirement of the first president of the University, Shamsh Kassim-Lakha. The Chancellor also introduced to the Convocation, Mr Kassim-Lakha's successor, Firoz Rasul, who will assume the presidency on May 1, 2006.